President Obama on Monday invited Mexico to join Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, significantly expanding the potential scope of the far-ranging agreement between nations in North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania.
Mexico first indicated
it could join TPP negotiations in November at an APEC summit in Honolulu.
Current TPP members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The pact seeks to increase trade and investment.
“The inclusion of Mexico is a major milestone toward creating a 21st century Asia-Pacific free trade area that will increase America’s competitiveness and help expand economic integration in the fast-growing market,” the Washington-based National Foreign Trade Council said Monday. “In today’s global economy, through integrated supply chains and extremely important export markets, the United States benefits from a cohesive North American export platform. With the inclusion of Mexico, U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers will have an opportunity to take full advantage of the economic benefits of a completed TPP agreement.”
The NFTC said the inclusion of Mexico in the talks will increase the likelihood of further reduction of barriers to trade and the negotiation of key issues in agriculture, intellectual property rights, and government procurement.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association similarly supports inclusion of Mexico in the negotiations.
Some environmental and consumer rights groups have grown increasingly concerned with the TPP, saying the pact is more about corporate deregulation than trade. The groups worry that companies in TPP countries would not necessarily be subject to U.S. regulations and could instead appeal to international tribunals.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sought to clear up the issue by saying the agreement wouldn’t impair the U.S. government's ability to pursue legitimate public interest regulation. - Eric Johnson